Fujitaya pays homage to the machiya streets of old Kyoto (Photo: Bonson Lam)

Fujitaya Guesthouse

Come home to the heart of culture and wellness

Fujitaya pays homage to the machiya streets of old Kyoto (Photo: Bonson Lam)
Bonson Lam   - 3 min read

I have been to Kyoto a dozen times, but it is only now when it has sunk in, as to what this place is all is about. It is about beauty and wellness, as well as enlightenment in every sense of the word. We live such busy and confusing lives, and it is only when we slow down, do we have chance to open our eyes, minds and hearts.

Breathe in, and breathe out. Being one with your body and mind is the essence of yoga. It is time to connect with the present. Being still with a yogi on a spring morning at Fujitaya is a great way to calm your mind and thoughts, and to set yourself right for the rest of the day.

Truly living in Kyoto to me is connecting with locals and like-minded visitors from around the world, going to the century old markets, talking with stallholders, or dropping by delightful gardens and meditating with a created and manicured nature from 14th century garden designers

Fujitaya is all about having a home base, a nest in which to fly from each morning, and to return nourished and share your experiences and memories with the kind hearted staff and guests. You can tell from the care and concern from each of the front desk staff, that they really want you to draw deep from the cultural well that is Kyoto. This can take the form of a calligraphy demonstration, or the sharing of local knowledge for visiting students from nearby universities.

Calligraphy demonstration
Calligraphy demonstration (Photo: Fujitaya )

This is the philosophy in which the owner, Masamitsu Fujita, has taken to heart. Having been dumbfounded by the hospitality he received when backpacking abroad in his youth, it is a lesson that he continues to learn, as he always takes the time to meet his guests and to truly understand what it means to journey through life. The other day, he met a family who has been travelling for a whole year. It was their way of teaching their children about life, the whole world becoming an open air classroom. Taking this idea further, Masamitsu is keen to see guests experience Kyoto on a bicycle, and reflects that “A journey produces a new creative. I feel it.” The sense of lifelong learning and inclusive experiences can also be seen in GEAR theater, an non-verbal performance that stimulates your five senses with a moving story set in the future.

Fujitaya was opened in the Summer 2014 based on the concept of "Feel Japan”, and is an active part of the Kyoto community, bringing local university students and cultural experts in house to share their knowledge at the guest house, as well as to learn from the guests from around the world. They also host regular “Takoyaki" and "Temakisushi" cooking parties, as well as calligraphy and Japanese confectionery classes.

Getting there

Nestled in a local working area of Kyoto, close to the wholesale markets, Fujitaya is an level ten minute walk from Tambaguchi station on Gojo Street. From Tokyo, it is less than three hours by bullet train, changing at Kyoto, making it an good option on the Japan Rail Pass.

Bonson Lam

Bonson Lam @bonson.lam

I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric laneways of Kyoto last century.  I am humbled to have met many distinguished people during this time, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperia...